The group has an interest in a range of activities
which promote and support Mechatronics. Mechatronics is, by its very
nature, integrative and draws upon many technologies in the realisation
of intelligent products, processes and systems. Some examples may be
found on this site.
The group conducts projects concerning the fundamental aspects of the
enabling technologies that facilitate mechatronics. This includes:
Modelling & Simulation
Sensors and Actuators
Mechanisms & Dynamics
Design & Embodiment
Once the fundamental enabling technologies are understood the process
of design may begin following established methodologies. The generally
complex procedure is exacerbated by consideration of trade offs in
mechanical, electrical and electronic capabilities as well as in hardware
versus software functionality. Mechatronics is clearly an applied discipline
and thus it requires manufactured artifacts to demonstrate the principles.
Manufacturing processes may demand enhanced precision or complexity
and this must be taken into account.
Once a machine is designed and built, it needs to be maintained. An
intelligent machine can monitor its own operation and predict when
failures of components or systems may occur due to normal wear and
tear. Condition Based Maintenance may then be used for optimal plant
efficiency and process availability. A truly intelligent machine learns
from its previous data (experience) and builds Knowledge which it may
then exploit. If the machine is intelligent it may have Embedded Information Devices which may be used to keep information permitting an optimised machine lifecycle and suitable recycling or re-use stategies to promote sustainability.
The Knowledge Transfer Partnership is an excellent vehicle for transferring
the principles and technologies of mechatronics into industry, especially
those of small and medium size. The group is very active in promoting
and participating in such partnerships. The web pages contain more
details and typical examples.
Train and Maintain
The group participates in the design and delivery of short courses
and teaching modules that may be built up to an MSc award. The courses
are designed to be delivered in a full or part time mode which is especially
suited to industry (a module is delivered in an intensive one-week
attendance session). Many practicing Engineers find this contributes
greatly to their Personal Development Plan (PDP) for life-long learning or companies
to their Integrated Graduate Development Scheme (IGDS). The MSc course
information may be found under the Wolfson School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering's